I am Khashoogi, bemoaning the tragedy of quietism (II) By Elder Yinka Salaam
The latest in the unfolding scenario after Part One is that, the United Nations Investigative Committee says Saudi Arabia/Muhammad bn Salman should be held responsible for the killing of Khashoggi. The UN and US intelligence indicted Saudi leadership, and with the support from Khashoggi’s fiancée, the UN expert on extrajudicial killings has called for an international investigation into his death, blaming the United Nations for its “paralysis” and Saudi Arabia for its handling of the case.
Presenting the conclusions of her five-month investigation to the Human Rights Council, Agnes Callamard, the United Nations expert, said that Mr. Khashoggi was killed last year in an operation that was carefully planned and endorsed by high-level Saudi officials.
She said while Saudi Arabia had taken some measures to investigate the crime it had failed to address the chain of command, Ms. Callamard said, including the possible role of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who American intelligence officials have concluded ordered the killing. “A U.N. criminal investigation is essential in order for these central questions to be addressed,” she said.
Turkey calls for justice
It will be recalled that Turkey earlier called for justice for Khashoggi’s killing under international law, putting pressure on Saudi Arabia for its refusal to extradite suspects in the Khashoggi murder.
The director of communications at the Turkish presidency, Fahrettin Altun described Saudi’s stance as very disappointing, stressing that the world should seek justice for Khashoogi”s death.
Turkish sources claim Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb made contact with an aide to Mohammed bin Salman.
The alleged leader of a 15-man killing squad made four telephone calls from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to the crown prince’s office in the hours after Jamal Khashoggi was killed.
Turkish sources claimed also that Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, head of the alleged hit team, made the calls to the mobile phone of Bader al-Asaker, who manages the office in Riyadh of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The claim undermines the Saudi position that the killing of the exiled critic of the Saudi regime was carried out by “rogue operatives” without the knowledge of the kingdom’s rulers.
A social commentator, Desmond Ekwueme observed that “the United States which has been playing politics with the development… has been boxed to a corner as the world await her actions against a friend worst than an enemy.
“Khashoggi may be no more but the world now know how and where he died. Perhaps the world may press for sanctions against Saudis to reveal why the journalist was murdered. There may be more to the journalist’s death than the world know. In days ahead, top and confidential correspondence and information about Khashoggi and his killers may be made public just like someone wore his suit, shirt… and walked away from the back gate of the consulate shortly after he was murdered to cover up the lie that he did leave the consulate after his visit,” he said.
Tissues of lies
Despite the confounding facts pointing to the fact that the highest echelon of Saudi Arabian authorities authorised the painful killing of Khashoggi by many unambiguous evidence linking the Crown Prince Muhammad bn Salman and likely his dad, the tissues of lies and denials have ceaselessly trailed the accusations.
The Washington Post where Khashoggi worked was particularly irked by blatant lies of Saudi’s ambassador in the US. The medium criticised his return to the US, describing it as “stunningly arrogant”, accusing him of lying openly about the murder.
“In an editorial, the newspaper said in the days following Khashoggi’s disappearance inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Ambassador Khalid bin Salman launched “an epic campaign of lies” – as the newspaper put it – and told anyone who would listen to him, from senators to the Washington Post publisher, that reports that Khashoggi had been detained or killed inside the consulate were “absolutely false, and baseless”.
The ambassador left Washington, DC, a couple of weeks later as the truth about Khashoggi’s murder was revealed.
Confessions of Saudi Arabia
Eventually, Saudi Attorney General, Saud al-Mojeb says investigators have concluded that Khashoggi’s murder was in fact premeditated. The suspects, al-Mojeb says, “carried out their ‘deed’ with premeditation.”
According to CNN, this is yet another example of Riyadh changing their story to fit the evidence as that evidence becomes more and more incontrovertible!
Turkey’s intelligence initially thought the Saudis might have dumped whatever was left of Jamal Khashoggi down a well in Consul-general Mohammad al-Otaibi’s yard.
And as Tayyib Erdogan took water sample from well Saudis reverse course again, saying Khashoggi murder was ‘premeditated’
“As usual, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry (or both) at this point, …because cartoonish nature of the Saudi operation is reminiscent of something you’d expect to see in an Austin Powers sequel.”
Earlier before the confession, CNN Turk released footage of what appeared to be Mustafa al-Madani – A member of the 15-man killer squad suspected in the death of Khashoggi dressed up in his clothes and was captured on surveillance cameras around Istanbul on the day the journalist was killed. Al-Madani wore a fake beard and glasses and dressed in Khashoggi’s still warm clothes, wandering out the back door of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but with different shoes!
So, with the frustration and the eventual defeat of the tissues of lies in the face of irresistible evidence in the public domain, Saudi Arabia rather than release the suspects – members of Muhammad bn Salman killer squad – for prosecution or sanction, it rather sacked Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, for his role in the Khashoggi murder, as well as Ahmed al-Assiri who was a royal adviser to Prince Muhammad bn Salman until October.
African journalists, CSOs and the tragedy of quietism
Without doubt, the unfortunate news of Jamal Khashoogi’s death which hit the world like a thunderstorm was trailed by a flurry of condemnations from every well-meaning individual who harbours any modicum of humanity flowing in his blood.
But what is baffling is the deafening quietness and criminal silence coming from those who were supposed to cry the loudest.
The first group are the journalists themselves, particularly from the third world – Africa.
Journalists from US and Europe were well represented by the Western media – CNN, FOX, BBC, Washington Post etc. In fact, some pro-Saudi critics have had to tag these outfits as ‘Muslims Brotherhood’s media’ because they dared to come to the defense of one of them – journalists.
The Asian journalists also faired well via Al Jazeera, Press TV, Middle East Monitor amongst others, except the likes of Al Arabiya of Saudi Arabia in the Gulf.
However, the African journalists seemed to be outside the radar, with an average reporter busy with his survival search.
This tragedy of quietism was more pronounced among the so-called human rights activists as well as the renowned social critics. They simply went to sleep; completely missing in action.
The development becomes more worrisome, because while the Western journalists with more press freedom and wide latitude to operate are championing the cause of the oppressed, the African journalists with higher probability and tendency to experience Khashoogi’s fate were rather more comfortable with the unfortunate incident.
In a poorly attended pro-Khashoggi’s protest held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the facilitator, Peter Nkanga lamented the response of the journalists and the Nigeria Union of Journalists who demanded money to mobilise members that should ordinarily volunteer themselves for such a worthy cause.
Irrespective of the challenges, the fact remains that the media needs to take the lead to cleanse itself. Journalists need to start placing real value on themselves for the public and other professionals to respect and take them serious.
Perhaps, the worst set period are those who blindly defend the crimes of the occupiers of the throne in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia despite the glaring evidences
Rather than stand by justice as commanded by Allah in the Qur’an, many holier than thou Nigerians whose source of living is closely tied to the Saudi Arabia chose to play the role of Al Arabiya television and gave blind support to the wicked regime in Saudi Arabia.
With the exposition of Saudi Arabian lies, a Nigerian social critic and social media influencer, Adejare Ibrahim who was ostensibly disturbed by this development wrote, “Where are those ‘God-fearers’; telling us to fear God on the allegation of murder against Muhammad bn Salman as evidence now point to Muhammad bn Salman as a murderer.
“Yet Mr. Trump said He will not act because business is more important than human lives. USA have ernomous billions of doallrs in trade with the Saudi and He is not ready to jeopardise that because of Iran, China and Russia.
“Callousness reigns supreme in the heart of the religious men as well. Most Saudi Clerics are mute about this gruesome murder”, he said .
The dumbest and the ignorants
As if we aren’t global citizens and as if an injustice to one is not an injustice to all, in his needless and shameless defense, a pro-Saudi man wrote on social media in his criticism of a reportage of the murder:
“A Nigerian man and my fellow African man managed to produce a traduce report about Saudi Arabia, he’s more interested in Saudi journalists murder case than he is interested in the case of Muslims and Christians killing themselves in his country.”
In a warped and bigoted understanding of global affairs, the pro-Saudi critic continued, “You’re not in Saudi Arabia, you’re not in Turkey, you have knowledge of traduce, selective and ostensible journalism! Turkish government and Qatari government are using their mouthpieces (Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye and other Ikhwani media) to brainwashed (sic) their beloved followers!
He concluded, “Y’all get emotional over petty traduce journalism! They are brainwashing you! Khashoogi’s case is being politicize (sic) by the Turkish government.”
This psuedo-critic with his co-travelers claimed,’ ‘silence is golden’ and insisted that the global condemnation that trailed the murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi’s body amounts to unwarranted criticism of their paymaster which their blind ideology forbids.
Following Saudi’s forced confession after the series of lies and initial denials of Saudi Arabia were bursted, another pro-Saudi man with a psuedo-name on social media wrote:
“The problem with the ikhwaanis is that they abuse, curse and want the dawnfall of the Salafi Citadel (Saudi Arabia) and this is what we won’t take from you. You are very much interested in the case of Khashhoggi because it gladdens you people,” he concluded.
The advocates of ‘silence is golden’ are often too quick to quote Imam Ahmad bn Hambali when he cautioned his sympathisers from protesting his persecution by the tyrant of his era. We must however understand that, Imam Ahmad warned against agitation, not because Islam condones evil but because he knew, as long as they lived within the territory of the tyrannical leaders, they may also be arrested and probably killed.
Is Saud Killer Squad supposed to kill in other man’s territory when that same person had already sought asylum in such country – against the Islamic Rulings on asylum.
Are we then supposed to identify with lies, falsehood and extra-judicial killings of the contemporary keepers of our Holy sanctuaries when Allah has blessed us with the noble concept of Amr bil Ma’ruf wa Nahyyi anil Munkar (commanding good and forbidden – or condemning – evil).
I think we shouldn’t Identify with those who are portraying Muslims as terrorists and callous.
Responses, a ray of hope
What however gladdens the heart regarding this ugly development are the responses of some few individuals which give an impression that, after all, all hope is not lost with Africans.
Responding to the above, Olamilekan Andu wondered “if these people read the Holy Quran at all, much less follow its teachings. Why has this transient life so blinded them? Do they know how they will end up on earth before facing Allah’s ultimate judgement? They make me feel sick. Where is the Islam in them? No Muslim will ever kill anything, particularly a fellow being, unless on account of Allah’s law, which the Saudi murderers have clearly violated. Will they still preside over Islamic affairs, he asked.
Gidigbih Azeezah Olushola’s response was rather more instructive, “I shudder at the thoughts of what must be going on in the kingdom against anti govt elements if they can perpetuate this much evil outside the kingdom. Surely from Allah alone do we seek protection.”
Onaolapo Adebimpe wondered while the defenders of Saudi Arabian atrocities simply considers every critic of Kingdom (ncluding the Western media) as members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Tweet about freedom and you are a Brotherhood member. Tweet about rights, and you are a Brotherhood member. Tweet about your homeland, and you are a Brotherhood member. Tweet about power-sharing and dignity, and you are a Brotherhood member. Reject despotism, and of course, you are a Brotherhood member. Tweet about Gaza or Syria, and you are definitely a Brotherhood member. To those who hate the Brotherhood, I’d say you have attributed to them all the virtues and have therefore made them the favour of the best promotion.”
A university lecturer, and journalist Dr Ganiyat Tijani-Adenle drew a line of dermacation between Islam and Saudi Arabia, realising that many ignorant youths are fooled by the inability to distinguish between the two.
“Saudi Arabia is just a country – like any other. It’s rulers are bloody despots – like numerous desperate, power-drunk men who will stop at nothing to ensure their hold on power to protect their economic and other parochial interests. SHAME!!!
“The Saudi regime does not represent Islam The Khashoggi affair is yet another reason for the world to abandon the assumption that the kingdom represents Islam,” she concluded.
Ade Wale was quite infuriated, “The dumb salafees would still have reason to believe the lies and stupid narrative of the MBS. I fear for the land of of tauhid. The effort of the noble Prophet and his companions are daily being ridiculed by this cannibal rulers….. at 33 MBS has become a Pharaoh, no wonder his closest allies are war criminals like Natenyahu of Israel. Hmmmph!
“They are the dumbest Muslims in the world. Once one rogue sheikh is granted air space from Saudi Arabia to make any pronouncement, it becomes a verdict. I bet you. Let a sheikh make any pronouncement on Khashoggi murder tomorrow, it becomes a hujjah (an evidence). ..slave of the westernised MBS.
Martins Abiodun put it this way, “Alhamdulillah MBS or the king of Saudi is not Islamic ruler or leader so giving respect to him will be at my will. Monarchy system is not Islamic and killing a fellow Muslim who has not committed any known crime is a great sin. Even after that, they can’t even provide his body for Islamic right is a big deal.
Let’s all call a spade it’s time we came together to bring back Khilaafatu Alislamiyah
In a reaction tagged, ‘A Wicked World’, a commentator, Desmond Ekwueme noted that the exposition of the lies of Saudi Arabia truly embarrassed the Kingdom that wants to control the Arab world and gulf region.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the roots and route of terror may have been discovered by the killing of Khashoggi a columnist with Washington Post who ironically is a Saudi citizen. This barbaric act could only come from sponsors of terror around the world yet they pretend to be peaceful and preach deceitful love.
If the Saudis could do this to their citizen then, other nationals must not cross their path. Turkey keeps exposing the messy details of Khashoggi’s death. The discovery of parts of his dismembered body inside the garden of the Consular speaks volume of how desperate a people could be and how nefarious they could act.
“Khashoggi’s death is a clear proof of how wicked the world is. How the powerful and rich oppress and destroy the poor. How the high and mighty rundown the less privilege and downtrodden….and how the ordinary and commonman is at the mercy of the wealthy.
“Only God knows how many innocent persons have gone the way of Khashoggi and how the mighty royal family of Saudi Arabia has dealt with those it perceived as enemies. But for facts on the doorsteps of all, America world have swept this under the carpet….Indeed the God of Khashoggi lives…”, he said.
Reacting to this development, the Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Center, Nigeria, MPAC, Disu Kamor wrote under a heading : Kashoggi Murder: Petrol dollar for human life!
“More than a month after Saudi Arabia engaged in series of lies and naked deceits amidst unrelenting Turkey’s damning revelations on the mindless murder of Jamal Kashoggi, it (Saudi Arabia) has now proposed to pay “blood money” to Kashoggi’s family and fiance.
“To them, this is what human life and justice come down to: petrodollar! The same commodity they have used to spread death, pains and extremism all over the world in the last few decades.
“I suppose Saudi Arabia wishes to end this problem and pay its way out so that it can quickly move on to the next person to kill. I’m not sure Saudi Arabia and those in charge of the country actually know how things should work in the 21st century.
Saudi vs Islam: the stereotype
Why am I a Khashoggi? Why should I be concerned? Why should the Muslim world take this murder serious? Why should Saudi Arabian authorities be held responsible and why must justice be served to the culprits?
Explaining how Saudi’s action reinforces this erroneous stereotype, Khaled A. Beydoun, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and Senior Affiliated Faculty at the University of California-Berkeley said:
“The recent disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has the world’s fingers pointed in the direction of the Saudi government, specifically at its de-facto leader, Crown-Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
“On October 19, Saudi authorities finally admitted Khashoggi was killed inside the country’s Istanbul consulate. This admission merely confirmed a conclusion most had already drawn given the regime’s dismal human rights record and fierce intolerance to any criticism: The Saudi government was directly responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance and death.
“And where Saudi Arabia is the subject of wrongdoing, Islam stands alongside it. Collaterally implicated and indicted as the source of the vile actions taken by a government that, since its inception as a sovereign state, has been popularly anointed as the living embodiment of the religion.
The author of Islamophobia Research and Documentation continued: “This, again, was the case with the Khashoggi affair. The unknown whereabouts of the journalist, widely regarded to be among the most courageous indigenous critics of the Saudi regime, implicated Islam in the minds of many. The “redeployment of Orientalist tropes,” as articulated by law scholar Leti Volpp, surged to the surface and steered the popular discourse, driving immediate conclusions that Islam itself is “intolerant to criticism,” “resistant to independent media voices,” And “suppressive of dissidence.”
“These blanket assessments of the religion, spurred by the actions of the Saudi state, coloured conversations about Khashoggi’s disappearance, and cast Islam as the source of Saudi actions. However, what is more insidious than these stereotypes is the assumption that undergirds them: specifically, that Saudi Arabia itself is the primary manifestation of Islam, and everything that it does is representative of the religion!
Just as Israel and its atrocities cannot be equated with Christianity because it hosts the historic sites of the religion of the followers of Christ, Beydoun made spirited effort to draw a clear, but often ignored, line of demarcation between Islam and Saudi Arabia. He made bold to assert that Riyadh cannot in anyway represent Islam, no matter how shrouded, confused or misconstrued.
“Saudi Arabia does not represent Islam. Despite its best efforts to promote and project itself as the symbol and “centre of Islam,” the Saudi state represents a regime steered by a desperate and austere few and, namely, one Mohammed bin Salman. Home to Medina and Mecca, the two holiest sites in Islam, the regime leverages its role as ward to these cities to shroud its legitimacy with religion; and function as the gatekeeper to the 1.8 billion Muslims around the globe called to enter its bounds to complete the mandated pilgrimage to Mecca. Being home to these holy sites has been just as potent as its boundless supply of crude oil to sustain the regime, with ruling monarch after monarch strategically intertwining the heft of their petrodollars with the global promotion of Wahhabism to propel the idea that Saudi Arabia and Islam are interchangeable entities.
“Let’s be clear: while the bulk of the idea that Islam and Saudi Arabia are one is rooted in Orientalist ideas and portrayals of Saudi clerics, sheiks and monarchs as the very archetypes of Islam, Saudi Arabia itself has been very intentional in distilling that idea and disseminating it broadly in the Middle East, Muslim majority countries, and the West. In fact, Wahhabi thought is largely intolerant of other Islamic traditions, and holds itself out to be the only authentic mode of Islamic practice. In addition to this, strategic alliances with global powers, principally the US, have emboldened the Saudi regime to further its project of positioning itself as the political representative of Islam. For better, and far more frequently, as represented by the Khashoggi affair, for worst.
“But it does not represent Islam, before and especially today. Saudi Arabia is just one nation, which enshrines an austere and primitive interpretation of Sunni Islam, Wahhabism. This tradition is only practised within the country of approximately 32 million people and other nations where the Saudi regime has spread its influence by way of direct economic and political influence, or indirectly, through the spread of terror networks. In fact, Indonesia, Pakistan and India are home to far bigger Muslim populations, and Nigeria has two-and-a-half times the number of Muslim citizens as Saudi Arabia. Beyond its spiritual and demographic shortcomings, Muslims globally are beginning to see Saudi Arabia as a blight to how Islam and Muslims are viewed, a sentiment that is especially strong in the US.”
Khaled A. Beydoun concluded that rather than equate Saudi authorities with Islam, the world should rather equate Islam with Khashoggi’s honesty, bravery and readiness to stand by the truth and speak the truth to power (tyrants).
“Khashoggi, who represented honesty and evenhandedness, courage and the possibility of journalistic freedom in a nation entirely devoid of it, offered the world a living counterexample of what it meant to be Saudi. He was proud of both his faith and his national origins; his work and his very being stood as an affront to the Saudi regime and the assent of its unpredictable strongman, Mohammed bin Salman.
“Khashoggi’s brave journalism was inspired in great part by Islam, and indicting it on account of the vile actions of the Saudi regime, is a double injustice: first, to the memory of a courageous journalist, whose post-mortem will continue to symbolise the quest for a journalistic freedom wholly denied in Saudi Arabia; and second, to a global religion that stands apart from the vile actions of the Saudi regime, or any single state or government that wields it to further its earthly objectives,” he said.
It is therefore certain that only the dim-witted, the uncouthed and unenlightened bigots will support the evil regime and the usurpers of the throne in Saudi Arabia.
When Zionists kill, it may be expected. since they subscribe to Freemasonry and Zionism. They kill brazenly and they neither deny nor weave series of lies around the killings but when the custodians on the two Sacred Houses and guidance of the supposed ‘Land of Tawheed’ committed the unthinkable by buchering innocent citizens, decapitated his fingers, mutilated his body and initially denied wrong doing, with unending lies to cover up, the world has no option than to shout to the high heaven.
What is obtainable today among many Muslim youths is stark ignorance that makes them equate Saudi with Islam, and regard Saudi Arabian authorities are their (Muslim) leaders, striving to model their lives around them (Saudi authorities), and defending their atrocities with no scruples observed.
The truth is that many are living under the illusion that Saudi Authorities (being the undesignated custodian of the two Sacred Mosques) represent Islam, just as some ignorant youths take them as leaders of the Muslim world?
Consequently, they erroneously take the king of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the Khalifah, giving them unquestionable allegiance, obedience and loyalty – rightly or wrongly, justifiably or unjustifiably; even when those Brothers and Sisters disregard their own leaders in their home country.
We must not make mistake about it, the current leadership has openly proclaimed unequivocally that they no longer believe in ‘Islamism’ and that what they seek to pursue in the Arabian peninsular, is secularism. They have frantically been pursuing this and fighting other Arab nations who are truly committed to Islamic governance and political matters – refusing to relegate Sharia’h to only social matters.
We must also realise that those who, without any consultations with the Ummah, dethroned a pious Prince – the heir apparent and enthroned a blood sucker secularist have virtually turned the Land of Tawheed to the Land of Murderers!
In as much as we all love Saudi Arabia – the cradle of Islam and the land of our beloved Prophet – equating Saudi authorities with Islam and refusing to point out the evil of the wicked is in itself a great disservice to Islam since an average non-Muslim often sees Saudi Arabia, albeit erroneously, as representing Islam.
I love Saudi Arabia, but my love for Islam prevails. I love King Salman but my love for the Prophet Muhammad supercedes. I am a Muslim but I am informed enough to know that, at no time did the Muslim Ummah nominate or appoint the the KSA or its leaders as the global Leaders of the Ummah or Musllims.
Khashoggi’s killing has indeed become a global issue and the world must be told that Islam or Muslims do not approve of the evil of MBS, his killer squad and his global collaborators. And until his body is found, his killers shall find no peace. Else, an open license to committing similar atrocities would have been granted across the globe.
May Allah free the ignorant folks from the mental and intellectual bankrupcy as well as monetary and spiritual slavery to the KSA.
Elder Yinka Salaam
Voice of Nigeria, Lagos
Email add: firstname.lastname@example.org